Cupcakes. I love these little confectionery bundles of joy. Although, I do know this one girl who isn’t too keen on the stuff, especially the fancier, decorated ones. You know who you are!
Traditional cupcakes use typical ingredients like flour, sugar, eggs, etc. and come in typical flavors like chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry and so on. Then there are the trendy, hip cupcakes that use agave sweetener instead of sugar or in the case of Babycakes on 248 Broome St. in NYC, use health-conscious and vegan ingredients that don’t use artificial sweeteners or dairy products. As far as I’m concerned both are equally awesome in their own way but I imagine there are vocal proponents for both parties as well as naysayer. Now with that said, let’s talk about them for a bit.
Most children grew up with cupcakes traditionally made with tons of sugar that can make a kid do cartwheels from sunup until sundown. And it’s not just for kids. Adults, like myself, aren’t immune to sneaking in a couple of cupcakes when no one is looking. Why? Well, simply put they taste good. They are without a doubt a guilty pleasure that no one really feels guilty about eating. A moist, well-baked cupcake is to die for and is up there on a list of comfort foods that does exactly as advertised. Should anyone rely solely on cupcakes as a daily source of nutrition? No way, but in moderation they can be a fun diversion from the norm and can liven up a small party as easily as the promise of free beer. I think fans of traditional cupcakes know right off the bat that these aren’t healthy for you and that’s okay. Every now and then we just need something to satiate our need for sugar.
Trendy cupcakes don’t follow normal cupcake-making conventions. Bakeries specializing in these kinds of cupcakes can use ingredients not usually found in your grandmother’s pantry and can look vastly different from any of the cupcakes in the above pictures. They can have actual fruit slices as toppings instead of sprinkles; use elaborate designs with the frosting; and generally speaking, are really liberal in how it’s made. From a consumer standpoint the taste, especially when you keep in mind all the vegan ingredients, can be much different or at least different enough to make you raise an eyebrow the moment you take a bite into it. I know I did when I took a bite into my chocolate cupcake at Babycakes. For some the difference in taste can be a major turnoff but if you keep an open mind, especially with cupcakes, I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.
Either way you slice it, there are cupcakes for any and everyone and it does no harm to experiment by letting your taste buds run wild a bit. Just have fun and keep eating cupcakes!